The Government appears to be trying to extend the recently announced “planning in principle” rights to green field developments. This could mean tens of thousands of new homes in green field areas will be forced upon communities that do not want them.
We have previously applauded the Government for introducing this right to brownfield sites. Just three weeks ago David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that the new “planning in principle” changes would apply to brownfield sites like former car parks and industrial areas. However Government documents said the new power will apply to “housing identified in local plans and neighbourhood plans” which include greenfield areas.
One document states: “The Government proposes to legislate to enable the Secretary of State to grant ‘permission in principle’ via a development order to land that is allocated for development in locally produced plans and registers.”
This development may have important implications for the Hart District parishes (e.g. Winchfield, Odiham, Fleet) that are in the process of creating their Neighbourhood Plans and of course for the Hart Local Plan. Surely, this will mean that will be more reluctant to identify potential sites for development because Hart Council Planners will no longer have the powers to block inappropriate schemes nor to insist that the design, density, size and location of homes is in keeping with local areas.
This proposal significantly undermines local democracy and should be opposed.